11.24.2011

Thankful

I woke up to a bout of Post Partum this morning. Yeah, great timing, don't you think? And it was definitely a case of me not knowing why I was so upset. Really, one of those cases of depression that you can't explain. Guess it's the hormones coupled with the lack of sunlight and trying to get better while taking care of an infant who has been quite fussy recently, and me learning the ins and outs of motherhood and baby care. I guess all I really can do is hang in there, and as long as I keep my mind off of the baby blues, I will be ok.

Because really, I have a lot to be thankful for. I can honestly say in the last couple of years I have been genuinely happy. I have long since learned that there are a few things that matter, and this little infant at my side is one of the key ones at the moment.

In the spirit of getting my mind back on what matters most, and enduring this short bout with depression where I know I'll be back up and loving life again, I decided to make a list of what I'm thankful for.

My Husband, Gus: When he asked me to marry him, I'll be honest and when I said yes, I was thinking, 'well, it's not official, I can back out of it later, right?' because I didn't know if there was anybody out there I could be happy with. I didn't want to disappoint him. I won't say that we have a perfect marriage, I don't think those exist, but we have a pretty darn good one, and I can say that I genuinely love him. We compliment each other so well, he tempers me, I can't help but know that I was waiting for him, and he was waiting for me. How we met was a total fluke, I don't know anybody who have a courtship like ours was, but we were meant to be together. He is my soulmate, if such a thing exists. I feel very blessed that I have him in my life. I'm glad he chased me down and eventually chose me to be his wife. And he puts up with a lot from me.

My daughter, Kaia: She's only nine days old today, and I have an entire lifetime to get to know her. She has given my life a whole new perspective, and i see things in a way I have never done before. I used to be quite selfish, without really meaning to be, but I guess it comes with being the youngest and growing up in this generation. My life has changed completely upon marriage, and becoming pregnant and having a baby has changed it even more so. My entire outlook on life is completely different now, and it has honestly been for the better. I don't think I would trade what I have right now for anything. Not to mention that she is pretty darn cute. Gus and Kami genetics proved to be a winning combination. I can't wait to meet the person she becomes.

My Family: I am blessed with a very close family. We genuinely enjoy each other's company and look for excuses to get together all of the time. It is also good to know that when push comes to shove, when you reach hard times, they have your back. We have helped one another out so much, and I know if I need help with anything, they are a phone call away. It's funny how very different each of us are from one another but how each of us completes the family unit, and how obvious it is when a member is not there for family gatherings. There is definitely a hole there.

Then of course, there is my other family. I married into an amazing group of people (and still learning who they all are) and have been welcomed and accepted with open arms.

Friends: There is an old saying that goes "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other Gold." Sure, it's a bit cheesy, but the idea behind it is very much true. There are only a handful of friends I have managed to hang onto from my childhood, and those few friends I have I feel very blessed to know. I have made some fantastic friends in the last few years as well.

Facebook: Yes, it is a time waster, and a sucker of souls, but me, the person who falls out of contact with everyone I meet, has found the perfect tool for staying in contact with people that matter to me, plus a way to share my life with those who matter, and follow along on the adventures of my family and friends. Now, I'll be honest and admit I don't know why I need 353 friends, and Facebook Drama can be quite annoying, but social networking is an amazing thing.

Craigslist: It is odd, I love the concept of Craigslist, but without it, I wouldn't have met my husband. Yes, it is an odd story. Plus, I love the ability to barter for things and the treasures you can find on there, often for a great deal.

My Home: Part of home making is making a house into a home. I love the peace and tranquility of where we live, sure it's out in the boondocks, or so I keep saying, but the atmosphere is something you won't find in the suburbs of a city. We may not be here forever, but I would be content to grow old and die here.

Tricare: I told Gus he cannot leave the military until we are done having kids. I think we will be having one more (unless an accident comes upon us) but Tricare is great for child birth. They covered everything with very minimal out of pocket expenses.

My Health: Aside from that pesky depression issue, I am blessed with great health. I'm already bounding back from my pregnancy (though far from 100%) and I was grateful that I was strong enough to endure labor without caving on drugs. In time, I know I'll be in great shape again, and next year I plan on taking advantage of it.

Painkillers: I am not 100% yet. I am very thankful for painkillers.

Horses: I love horses, I have been a horse nut since I was about seven years old. And I have two of them. I am very blessed I am in a position to own a horse and can afford too.

The Air Force: The military can be frustrating at times. But in this economy, my husband has a stable job and his unit has stepped up and helped us several times. I am grateful for the support network that they offer, and along with the rest of the armed services (noteably the Army, of course) for keeping our country safe.

My Unit: I have an awesome army unit. They are very supportive of me, especially considering my present circumstances, and I know they will do what they can to work around it. Because I am now a new mom, I am looking more and more on getting out, but if I do decide to stay in, this would likely be the unit I would stay with until i retire. I've got two years on my present contract left, but I'm in good hands.

Cell Phones: Ok, in truth they are a pain in the butt, because we did manage to go without cell phones for centuries. Now we have smart phones, which are enormous wastes of time, and I don't think we could live without them, but in truth, it is nice to always be able to contact somebody, especially if you need to talk to somebody right then. Or even texting, something I didn't do until about two years ago. Kind of crazy, actually.

Emoticons: I used to be horribly annoyed with them, but I have grown quite partial to this guy -> :P

My Car: I have a great car. It's practical, it's reliable, it gets good gas mileage, and it gets me from point A to point B. And it's paid off! I am glad I have the means to get around. And my lead foot has decreased in weight quite a bit over the last few years.

Chickens: They eat just about anything, they are amusing to look at, and they lay eggs! When you find yourself with a rooster, they also make for a great chicken noodle soup! Plus they are cute, which I find myself kind of amused to discover that chickens are quite cute.

Cats and Dogs: endless amusement, there is something very soothing about a purring cat on your lap, and I have two friendly barn cats that have instant purr mode as soon as I start petting them. I also have a crazy dog that likes to herd them, and they aren't amused. Watching them interact is quite entertaining.

The Gospel: I don't like to get to religious on my blog, and I am not the most religious person out there, but I am grateful for having the church in my life. I need to make a better effort to go, however. Lately I've been more of a heathen. With the new little one, I do want to raise her in the church with a set of moral standards and it is something I want to share with her.

Freedom: I am an independent person, I am grateful be to be an American and with all the rights and privileges that come with it.

Guns: Yes, I am a gun nut. I love guns, for a variety of reasons. They are empowering, and they certainly level the playing field. I am thankful for the security they provide. and of course, most people who follow my blog know me for my bad ass pose with one.

Sleep: I think I am about to crash now. Must be the new mom in me. But first, I need to feed the munchkin.

There are many more things I am thankful for, this is just a rundown of some of them. Indeed, there is quite a lot to be thankful for. Just some things to remember when the baby blues start getting me down.

11.17.2011

What's in a Name?



Kaiana Jade Donnelly was born November 15th at 11:03 PM without intervention. My natural childbirth is the topic of another blog post however. This is a post all about my daughter's name.


I had some stipulations on what I wanted to name my kids for some time, mostly following a set of rules. If I ever had a daughter, one name I really liked was Tobi, but Gus nixed that idea. He's not fond of unisex names that err on the side of the opposite gender, and to him, Tobi is too masculine for a girl. So that name was out.


We didn't know what we were having until the ultrasound, for some reason we both were thinking a little boy with my first pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage, and that name carried over to this one. However, we didn't have a girl's name. I love the name Jade, but not for a first name, so we agreed early that it would be her middle name (though they don't recommend choosing a middle name before a first name, oh well, me and Gus break a lot of rules like that). So it was a case of figuring out what her first name would be.


There were a few rules for our kid's names, and I think we'll follow them for all of our kids.


1) Their first name is uniquely theirs. Nobody named after a family member, though we might make an exception for a family name a few generations back from a deceased member.


- that means no duplicate names used by existing family members, including extended family. This is quite the challenge, as Gus and I both come from very large families.


2) Name does not show up in the top 100 names for that year.


3) No asexual names. This was Gus's rule, I love little girls with somewhat sexual ambiguous names, especially if they are total girly girls, but Gus is a traditionalist in that sense. For him, he wanted the gender to be known with the sound of the name.


Hence my choice of Tobi was vetoed. And obviously, we both had veto powers over any name.


Anyway, those were our basic stipulations when we decided on a name for our little boy (I'm not a fan of asexual names for boys so we were both good there) but we were a bit stumped on the girl.


Then we went to Hawaii, kind of a summer babymoon, Gus has family in Hawaii, I had never been, and this was the last opportunity to do anything like this for a while. When we were in Hawaii, they had one of those booths where they can translate your name into Hawaiian, basically using the rules of the Hawaiian language to find out what your name is. Gus smiled at me and told me to do it, that they couldn't translate my name. And sure enough, my name fits the perameters of the Hawaiian language (though true, it isn't a true Hawaiian name). I then took note my mother has a Hawaiian name, Lana. I also have some cousins and a couple of nieces with Hawaiian spelled names too, but Gus came up with the idea of starting a tradition with the girls of our family, in case we had a girl. We would follow the tradition through the female line from our daughters maternal grandmother, to me, to her. Of course, she can choose to continue it or not, but it got a theme to go by, and since we found out what the gender of our baby was the day after we got back from Hawaii, we thought it would have some meaning.


And sure enough, we were pregnant with a girl. So there came a new set of rules for naming our baby girl. The Hawaiian rules are:


Only using the letters A, E, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, U, W


consenents must be seperated from one another, however we could have as many vowels as we wanted.


Gus came up with the idea, but he just let me decide on the name and he would tell me if he liked it or not. Her middle name doesn't follow the Hawaiian rules, obviously, but then again, neither does mine or my mom's so we looked for something to go with Jade. My first choice was actually Kiana, pronounced KEY-ah-nuh, which I think Gus would have been fine with except for the nickname being Kia. He didn't like her being named after a car. I really liked that name, but thought of other names similar to it and found Kai'ana, pronounced KY-ah-nuh. I liked the sound of it, I liked the nickname Kaia, and took it by Gus. He liked it too, and it went really well with Jade.


Of course, the spelling is a bit different, poor girl will likely be spelling it for people her entire life (but I have the same issue), though we both think that she will ultimately go by Kaia. That's fine too, considered just naming her Kaia but I liked giving her a more formal name to go by as well, that and it's handy for discovering telemarketers.


I thought we would mull over names for a bit, but we had our name in about a day after we found out we were having a girl. We actually didn't tell people right away, my sister, mother and mother in law were the first to find out what the name was and they immediately loved it, though they still admit to calling her Kiana and figuring out how to say it and spell it. And having the Hawaiian theme was kind of fun, we'll stick to it if we have another little girl, but for some reason, I suspect that our next little bundle of joy will be a boy, and we're not doing the Hawaiian theme for that one. He will undoubtedly have a unique name still, perhaps just a completely different route.


Now the final question, what does Kaiana mean? Well, it is a very unique name (though a genuine name, I swear I didn't make it up!) and we can't find it in any baby name sites. However, they do talk about a legend of a Hawaiian prince named Kai'ana, so irony of irony, it is actually a Hawaiian boy's name. Hah, we broke one rule :) However, most people wouldn't see it as a boy's name (besides, we took out the comma, no use torturing our poor girl!). Well, after a while, Gus finally decided to come up with his own definition of our little girl's name. Green Princess of the Sea. Well, her middle name is Jade, which is a green rock, the name is royalty, and Kaia means water.


I like it. Most people seem to approve, I've had a couple nay sayers (people in my unit gave me the most grief, but I am in a Drill Sergeant unit and that's just part of the whole shin dig) but it's been a winner for most.


Now I think we have another theme started. Kaia's middle name is Jade, Gus is a rock lover (mostly in regards to extreme sports) so will we use names of minerals for middle names in the same line as Jade? Hmm, we'll see :)


But that's how we decided on a name.

11.07.2011

The end of the world as I know it. . .

. . . and I feel fine.

I recently heard that REM broke up. Pity. I did like their music and grew up listening to them, one of those bands that I can listen to over and over again. REM brings happy thoughts.

In other news, yep, still prego. I've got two due dates, by the way. Last known Cycle puts me at November 16th. Ultrasound puts me at November 13th. So basically, I'm on my last week before I enter the realm of over due. My midwife told me that chances of me making my due date were slim, but that I still could. That was over three weeks ago. She could make her arrival at any moment, and there has been a few close calls where I wasn't sure what was going on.

So, that puts me at around 39 weeks, give or take a couple of days. Some days I feel fantastic, other days I feel bleh. I'm just trying to stay calm and mellow, and trying to ignore my carb cravings. I lived on carbs up until a couple of weeks ago, and it's a pain that I can't just live off of them more. Dang, carbs are in EVERYTHING. And I can't really stomach greasy foods at the moment, so it basically makes me feel like I need to eat like a rabbit. Tomorrow I'll pick up some salad, or something like that. I'm usually a carnivore at times, but lately I don't really want to eat anything that's meaty. I can't win with this right now (sighs)

So, due to popular demand (somebody requested it) pictures of my pregnancy thus far. And me and my belly baby in all of our glory.




The picture above was taken while I was still being mum about the whole thing. I was having difficulty with eating and I actually lost five pounds in the first trimester. Bleh! This was at about eleven weeks, since there was no sign of belly, I didn't see a point in taking a picture every week. I wasn't showing at all. But baby was definitely incubating.



Enter Week 14. Still not really showing, looking a little thicker through the midsection, and in fact probably just looking like I normally look. Nobody would know I was pregnant unless I told them, which was fine with me at the time. I still fit in all of my clothes, and the morning sickness had largely gone away. I just realy felt like me, until I tried to lift something, and then I did recieve a little reminder telling me I probably shouldn't do that. Oh yeah, right, silly me, heheh.



Week 17, and showing the faintist of baby bumps, but it could be excused as me having gorged myself on a food baby. For the most part, still hiding it, when I told people I was pregnant, and how far along I was, they were going 'huh?' Funny, when I told my family I was pregnant, they all told me I would gain all sorts of weight and bloat, because that's what we do in our family. I did not want that for me, no thanks. So i was perfectly content to stay trim and healthy, even though, due to previous miscarriage, I was taking it easy with the pregnancy so as not to cause any problems.



Week 19 showed the first signs of an obvious baby bump. We were posting pictures of our trip to Hawaii and people were all aghast that I was suddenly showing! And of course, it puts me off my usual picture taking cycle, usually I'm displaying my belly facing right, now I'm facing left. But lookin' stylin! Sportin that little munchkin (who at this time, we were still not sure whether munchkin was a she or a he).



Ok, by week 21, we found out Kidling was a girl, and now there is no ifs ands or buts, I'm definitely preggers. Depending on what I was wearing, I could still hide it, but entering summer, most of my clothes were starting to feel a bit tight, well, it was time to just focus on wearing more maternity wear. Must embrace the pending motherhood. It's alright!



Week 24 brings us to family reunion time, and I met up with my cousin Rocia who was rockin' it with her fifth child at 37 weeks. Girl looked fabulous (and was quite gutsy to make that trip to the ocean, but she's an old hat at it by now). I had a great time, my belly was extending a wee bit further, and hoodies made me look fat, or so I discovered.



27 weeks gone by, and I have given in to the lounge pants. The only way to go for any pregnant girl to be really comfortable. Belly protruding a bit further, and feeling a little less agile, but still feeling for the most part rather fine.



My sister takes pictures and at week 31, she offered to get some of me for a maternity session. I think this is one of my favorites out of the bunch.



Week 35, getting closer! Up until this point, overall I had a pretty easy pregnancy. I felt relatively healthy and active, didn't have to much of a waddle when I walked, and overall just felt pretty good. She woke me up about this time and I found myself barely able to move my legs without groaning. Not a fun point, had a few concerns, so called my midwife and she informed me that baby had indeed dropped and my cervix was starting to dialate.

Starting the next week was my regular check up, I was supposed to have my baby shower that Tuesday, and I woke up with really bad back labor and all sorts of preterm labor symptoms. Going in, I was informed I had effaced 90%, still dialated at a one and the baby was at -2. I was a little concerned because it was still pretty early, but she informed me I still could be pregnant for a couple of weeks. I still could make my due date, nothing set in stone. Was worried and called my instructor, thinking maybe I needed to drop out of class because it seemed like baby was coming at any time. Canceled the baby shower, in the end, no big deal. Cause I'm still pregnant.



Week 37 is the magic milestone we were aiming for after our preterm labor scare. I wanted to hit this because this is officially when the baby is at term, and in truth the longer she's in there, the better for her. Of course, we also learned news of our glucose levels being a bit elevated, and now I have to watch what I eat. I don't feel like I'm a threat for gestational diabetes, I've felt pretty good so far. Well, let me tell you, as a pregnant woman, they are a pain in the butt. Ok, so we got to week 37, now I'm ready when the baby is.


Week 39. Well, I hit week 39 yesterday, according to the ultrasound, or I'm at week 39 on Wednesday, according to that lovely last known monthly constitutional. A couple nights ago I felt a bit under the weather, thought maybe this was it, but no, it lingered for to long and eventually went away. So this is where we are at. Me feeling ready to explode with my belly hanging out there and just trying to remain comfortable. I feel now that I'm watching what I eat, I'm actually not eating as well as I used too *why does EVERYTHING i crave carry carbs???* and the nesting instincts have kicked in. Baby is bound to come sooner or later.

Taking this one day at a time, was hoping to go to Portland for Thanksgiving to spend it with the husband's family but that is looking more and more out of the question. In truth, I've still got plenty of time for this baby to make her arrival, I'm giving her until the end of the month before I induce, but I am trying to go natural so avoiding medical induction and all other interventions. I've been healthy for the most part. the gestational diabetes thing has me hoping for an earlier rather than later baby though.

Maybe she just wants to be a Veteran's day baby and have the designer birthday of 11/11/11. You know, that would be pretty cool, and be rather easy to remember, if not a little bittersweet.